The Reanimator's Heart by Kara Jorgensen (The Reanimator Mysteries #1)

A reluctant necromancer, a man killed before his time, and the crime that brings them together.

Felipe Galvan’s life as an investigator for the Paranormal Society has been spent running into danger. Returning home from his latest case, Felipe struggles with the sudden quiet of his life until a mysterious death puts him in the path of the enigmatic Oliver Barlow.

Oliver has two secrets. One, he has been in love with the charming Felipe Galvan for years. Two, he is a necromancer, but to keep the sensible life he’s built as a medical examiner, he must hide his powers. That is until Oliver finds Felipe murdered and accidentally brings him back from the dead.

But Felipe refuses to die again until he and Oliver catch his killer. Together, Felipe and Oliver embark on an investigation to uncover a plot centuries in the making. As they close in on his killer, one thing is certain: if they don’t stop them, Felipe won’t be the last to die.

CONTRIBUTOR(S): Jack R R Evans (Narrator)
PUBLISHER: Fox Collie Publishing
YEAR: 2022
LENGTH: 300 pages (10 hours 20 minutes)
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Fantasy, Historical, Romance

Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Minor Character(s), Gay/Achillean Main Character(s), Genderqueer/Nonbinary Secondary Character(s).

Oliver is autistic, and up until now he hasn't had people in his life (romantically or otherwise) who take him as he is. He's told he's too much or too little, in ways he can't change even if he wanted to. Oliver makes himself small, working as a mortician hiding the extent of his powers as a necromancer because of the social stigma from those who work with the dead (let alone raise them). He's been interested in Felipe, one of the investigators at the Paranormal Society, but doesn't screw up the courage to do something about it until the night Felipe is murdered.

Felipe likes Oliver, he's liked him for years but (as in much of his life) kept putting off things he wanted in order to go all in on being an investigator. He's missed much of his daughter's life, and he doesn't see his wife and her partner nearly as much as he should. Suddenly, he's out of time when someone attacks him in his apartment and he's killed, only brought back because Oliver, the necromancer, found him in time to raise him from the dead.

Oliver is terrified of being one of "those" necromancers, the bad ones who keep people alive past their time while they rot. He sets a time limit of one week for him and Felipe to solve the case and wrap up everything, then he has to let Felipe go. Faced with a deadline, Felipe tries to solve the case so he can enjoy his last time with his family, but putting them aside once again gets complicated pretty fast.

This is great, I love it! I keep listing things about Felipe and Oliver as characters because they're so well done and I want the best for them; they are delightful both separately and together. Their romance is sweet, the mystery is engaging and wonderfully twisty while making sense at the end, and I'm excited for where this series will go next. 

Graphic/Explicit CW for grief, blood, violence, murder, death.

Moderate CW for ableism, mental illness, sexism, misogyny, panic attacks/disorders, cannibalism.

Minor CW for alcohol, self harm.

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